Text and photo by Sjöfartsverket
The Swedish Maritime Administration is launching the world's first fully methanol-powered pilot boat today. It is one of the ministry's existing pilot boats, which has now been converted to test the new propellant. The work is part of the Swedish Maritime Administration's transition to a fossil-free fleet.
The pilot boat will be the first of its kind in the world. "Generally speaking, we in Sweden are far ahead when it comes to maritime research and innovation. It is therefore no coincidence that this particular project is now being carried out here in Sweden," says Fredrik Backman, Director of Shipping at the Swedish Maritime Administration.
The work to convert one of the Swedish Maritime Administration's pilot boats from diesel to methanol is part of a larger EU initiative, and will last until 2024. While there are other projects involving various forms of methanol-powered vessels, the Swedish Maritime Administration's pilot boat is the first of its kind in the world. The boat will now be part of the Agency's regular pilotage operations to evaluate the technology, but also to ensure both its capacity and capability.
"Our redesigned pilot boat is an important piece of the puzzle in our larger and broader transition towards a completely fossil-free fleet of boats and ships. The pilot boat will now be put through its paces, with many hours of rigorous and thorough testing. Tests that will then be evaluated and analysed", says Fredrik Backman.
The Swedish Maritime Administration has already been commissioned by the government to analyse and come up with proposals on how the Agency's fleet of boats and ships can become fossil-free. The assignment is based on the government's national climate targets, which include a reduction of at least 70% in carbon dioxide emissions from domestic transport by 2030.
Follow the launch of the methanol-powered pilot boat live in the video player below or click here.